Cancer deaths in the United States continued a downward trend in 2017, according to the latest data from the American Cancer Society.
The mortality rate from cancer declined by 2.1% from 2016 to 2017, the most recent year for which data are available. That translates to about 26,000 fewer cancer deaths in 2017 than in 2016.
The overall cancer death rate has been falling since 1991, thanks to declining death rates for many of the most common cancers, such as those of the lung, colon, breast, and prostate.
In contrast, deaths from pancreatic cancer continued to rise in 2017, albeit at a slower pace than in previous years. The pancreatic cancer death rate rose by 0.4% from 2016 to 2017.
Overall, the pancreas has the fourth-highest cancer death rate of any organ, after the lungs, colon, and breasts.
The good news is that pancreatic cancer mortality is still declining among people under age 55. The death rate for this group declined by 1.1% from 2016 to 2017.
There are also modest improvements in survival for pancreatic cancer. The five-year survival rate for all people diagnosed with the disease has increased from 6% in 1975-1977 to 9% in 2009-2015.
Even so, pancreatic cancer remains a difficult disease to treat. The vast majority of people diagnosed with the disease will die from it.
That’s why it’s important to continue to invest in research to find new and better ways to treat and prevent pancreatic cancer.
Cancer mortality in the United States continued its downward trend in 2016,drop-ping by 2.2%. This was the second consecutive year of decline, after a 2.4% decrease in 2015. A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association reports that this stabilization in the cancer death rate is largely the result of falling smoking rates and advances in early detection and treatment.
While the death rate from cancer is falling, the incidence of cancer is rising. The American Cancer Society projects that there will be 1,735,350 new cancer cases diagnosed in the United States in 2018. This is an increase of about 11,000 new cancer cases per year since 2014. The rise in cancer incidence is mostly due to the aging of the population. The risk for developing cancer increases with age.
The good news is that survival from cancer is also improving. The five-year survival rate for all cancers diagnosed between 2009 and 2015 was 69%. This means that 69% of people diagnosed with cancer during that time period are still alive five years later. The five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer, which is one of the most deadly types of cancer, was just 9% in the 1970s. Today, it is up to 20%. While this is still a low number, it does represent a significant improvement.
There are many risk factors for cancer, including tobacco use, obesity, excess alcohol consumption, ultraviolet radiation, and exposure to certain chemicals and viruses. Some of these risk factors, like tobacco use, can be avoided. Others, like age and family history, cannot be changed. But by understanding the risk factors for cancer, people can take steps to reduce their chances of developing the disease.